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Entrepreneurs, Take Flight!

How travel websites are expanding out to small business owners.

While they're best known as consumer travel websites, Expedia, Orbitz and Travelocity offer services for business travelers, too. Until now, they've focused on travelers at big companies, which have travel departments to oversee policies, purchasing and traveler welfare. That's something small companies rarely have. To reach this sector, Orbitz recently created Orbitz for Business, Self-Managed, a service for companies that spend less than $250,000 on travel per year. It offers access to hotel rates that are generally only available to major corporations and includes a reporting function, a tool that tracks unused e-tickets, and free online exchanges, cancellations and voids--meaning there's no fee for bookings that can't be completed. And for those times when you need human assistance, there's a dedicated customer service line that's staffed 24/7.

Julie Moline is a freelance writer, editor and editorial consultant in New York City.

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This article was originally published in the February 2008 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Entrepreneurs, Take Flight!.

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